Federal Budget

Apres Pelosi, Le Deluge

Featured image This morning the Senate passed the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion spending bill on a party line vote, with every Democrat voting in favor. I take this to mean that there are officially no sane Democrats left. With something like $1 trillion still unspent from Congress’s last “covid stimulus” bill, the economic consequences of the current boondoggle, which has little to do with covid and a great deal to do with pork »

Inside the COVID Pork Bill

Featured image Did you know that today is National Bacon Day? I didn’t—but then I tend to think that every day is national bacon day. Or at least ought to be. Maybe when Homer Simpson is president. In any case, our mind is on pork a lot at the moment because of the 5,593-page COVID relief and omnibus spending mashup Congress passed and President Trump reluctantly signed a couple days ago. There »

Trump balks at pandemic relief bill

Featured image President Trump has denounced the stimulus bill Congress passed this week in response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. The bill provides nearly $900 billion of “relief.” Most of the roughly $900 billion provides basic relief in the form of small-business aid ($325 billion), $600 checks for most Americans ($166 billion), and expanded unemployment benefits ($120 billion). Much of the remainder goes to things such as help for schools ($82 billion), »

Relieve this

Featured image Congress passed a 5,600 page monstrosity of a spending bill yesterday doling out $2.3 trillion in total. Included in the $2.3 trillion is $900 billion in COVID-19 relief that gives $600 to most Americans struggling to cope with the epidemic. What’s $600 got to do with it? I don’t know. The relief bill also expands the Paycheck Protection Program for various businesses. I hope the alleged COVID-19 relief is as »

Art of the Steal?

Featured image Yesterday the stock market soared on the news of Trump’s improving health, and the thought that another round of robust fiscal stimulus would be forthcoming from Congress. Add to this accommodating monetary remarks from the Federal Reserve, and this morning it appeared the stock market would add on to yesterday’s decent gains—until President Trump abruptly pulled out of negotiations over COVID relief and new economic stimulus spending until after the »

Free stuff, Democratic Party style

Featured image A few days ago, Steve wrote an important and insightful piece called “The Genealogy of Free Stuff.” Citing a Wall Street Journal editorial, Steve stated that Elizabeth Warren’s agenda is so far beyond extravagant that “socialism” seems an inadequate adjective. Steve offered two explanations for the leftward lurch he described. First, hard-left Democrats are convinced that anyone can beat President Trump, and thus see this as the time to go »

Trump will seek $8.6 billion more for wall

Featured image President Trump will request from Congress at least $8.6 billion to build additional sections of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This money is in addition to the $1.3 billion Congress appropriated earlier this year and the approximately $7 billion Trump “appropriated” via his declaration of a national emergency at the border. Trump will seek the $8.6 billion as part of his proposed 2020 budget. The budget also calls for »

For You, AOC, the Answer Is No

Featured image Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, God’s gift to conservatives, is at it again. The Valley Girl socialist says, like, it may not be OK to have children, because, like, the planet is doomed: Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) suggested on Sunday night that people should consider not having children due to climate change because there is a “scientific consensus” that life will be hard for kids. “Our planet is going to hit »

Can Federal Spending Be Cut?

Featured image Federal revenues are booming, yet deficits are rising again because spending is booming even more. President Trump, unhappy about growing deficits, says he will ask all cabinet officers to find five percent in spending cuts for next year. Sounds like a good proposal, but the linked USA Today story is devoted entirely to ridiculing it. You can’t cut federal spending, the reporters say: Congress spends money, not the president (true); »

Trump Tax Cuts Mostly Pay For Themselves

Featured image Investors Business Daily has an excellent editorial on the macroeconomic effects of the recently-enacted tax reform bill. It highlights, once again, the peril of uncritically parroting top-line Congressional Budget Office analyses: When the Congressional Budget Office released its updated budget forecast, everyone focused on the deficit number. But buried in the report was the CBO’s tacit admission that it vastly overestimated the cost of the Trump tax cuts, because it »

Trump Fought the Swamp, and the Swamp Won [with comment by Paul]

Featured image If you are of a certain age, you may remember a song by the Bobby Fuller Four called “I Fought the Law.” It was not one of the top cultural milestones of the 1960s, but it was catchy. The refrain went, “I fought the law, and the law won.” That refrain has been going through my head, in a different form, ever since President Trump signed the omnibus spending bill »

You Can Vote For Conservatism, But You Can’t Get It

Featured image I first made that observation–you can vote for conservatism, but you can’t get it–quite a few years ago. Sadly, it remains true, as exemplified by the $1.3 trillion spending monstrosity that President Trump signed today. How bad is the bill? Rand Paul tweeted in real time as he read the bill–or as much of it as he could read through in the hours available. He produced a number of tweets, »

Trump should veto the omnibus, but not for the reasons he cites [UPDATE, he signed it]

Featured image After signaling to Congress that he supports the omnibus spending bill it was about to pass, President Trump is now threatening to veto the bill. He complains that it does nothing for the DACA population and virtually nothing to build his wall. In my view, these are not good reasons to veto the omnibus. Doing something for the DACA population should not be a priority, and certainly not to the »

The President Responds to “Crazy Joe Biden” In Kind

Featured image I wrote last night about Joe Biden’s crazed sort-of-threats against President Trump. Early this morning, President Trump replied in kind, on Twitter. Read it and marvel: Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying »

Congress approves spending bill

Featured image This morning at around 5:30 a.m., the House approved a budget deal that will add hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending, not just for the military but also for domestic programs. The vote was 240-186. The Senate had already passed the deal by a vote of 71-28 (John McCain did not vote). In both chambers, the dissenters were a mix of hard core leftists who objected to not »

Another problem with the spending deal

Featured image The editors of National Review point to a problem with the spending deal that I hadn’t considered: it may end the chance for a conservative legislative achievement in 2018. Here’s why: A two-year spending deal means Republicans probably won’t go to the trouble of passing a formal budget for 2019. That would mean no chance for a so-called reconciliation process that could allow them to enact meaningful legislation with only »

McConnell puts big government freight train back on track

Featured image Skepticism is always in order on the substance of any agreement between Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats, especially if the subject is spending. When it comes to the spending deal Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer reached, skepticism should probably give way to alarm. The deal raises spending caps on discretionary spending by nearly $300 billion over two years. According to Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, this means »